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Derech Hashem—The Way of God #7

Given: October 26, 2012


It’s been a long time since the last shiur--lesson; when was it, May? First, I want to just tell the olam--world that I now live in Lakewood so I do intend to give this shiur until, basically, the beginning of January so it'll be a continuous shiur.

Participant: Same time, same place…

R’Kessin: Yes, it's a nice place. I think motzei Shabbat—after Shabbat is the best time because, during the week, everybody's often running somewhere else, especially yeshivas with their seder so, having it at motzei Shabbos at 9: 30 will be easy as days gets earlier, especially when you change the clock in two weeks; it's been a long gap.

The question is really where to begin; it’s been such a long time, so I thought it would be appropriate, maybe, just to review.

R’Kessin: (someone arrives) Oh, wow! How did you find out about this?

Participant: I read the newspapers.

R’Kessin: Have a seat.

Participant: Have you started already?

R’Kessin: No, just waiting for you. See, it's all l’fi shamayim—according to heaven… yeah, we have refreshments, you know.

Participant: I'm very refreshed.

R’Kessin: Double up…

The beauty of what RaMChaL did in “Derech Ha’Shem,” and which is so very important, is that he presented his information in a particular way. The problem is—and this is a real problem that most people don't even recognize as a problem or that there even is a problem—is that of information. When the mind seeks to understand, information has to be presented in a certain way.

There are only two questions that you need to ask, and the answers reflect the totality of all

and any aspect of information.

Participant: What is it and what's its definition?

R’Kessin: To what does it belong, its class, its category, its structure?—and that's it!

If you understand what a thing is and to what category it belongs, you understand what it is. The mind does two operations. First, it analyses. After it analyses, it seeks to break down that analysis into defining what a thing is. When it synthesises, it puts it together to compare it to other things.

Analysis and Synthesis: Two Fundamental Operations of the Mind

Unfortunately, most people, when they learn, allow the information to lie in their minds as a fragment. It's a fragment, little analysed, without much structure. How well do you understand something when It’s a fragment? This is the problem, that most peoples’ understanding of information, whatever it is, Torah or anything else, lies in the fact that it's a fragment and remains so.

Fragmented ideas cannot offer understanding. What RaMChaL did was to include an Introduction to his sefer--book making clear that it’s not about hashkafa—outlook, philosophy; it's about methodology of thinking. He emphasizes that, if you want to understand something, you cannot understand it being a fragment; it must be understood in terms of what it is and to what general category does it belong; that's the concept of “structure,” how to structure information.

The RaMChaL has an entire method of learning. It's called “the ability to structure.” It is analysis and structure combined to form a comprehensive understanding of any given thing, and that's really his Introduction which I’d gone over. It's very interesting to use that method to learn anything, how to learn any Gemara, any Mishna and halacha. It offers a profound understanding.

In fact, that method will accomplish the six fundamental objectives of education.

What are they?

1. clarity, to understand something clearly

2. profundity, to understand at a certain depth

3. comprehensiveness, to understand everything about that idea

4. retention, to retain it in memory

5. efficiency, to learn it in a short amount of time—if you can learn it—and know it well in one hour. Why spend fifty hours when you could be learning something else in that time?

6. applicability, to apply it to the real world

Those are the six fundamental objectives of education. The way to achieve those objectives is by learning the Derech L’RaMCHaL—the way of the RaMCHaL. This is a method that can apply to any chochma—knowledge, any wisdom in the briyah—Creation whether it be physics, chemistry, anything, and especially Torah.

RaMCHaL gave an entire hakdama—introduction to this thinking method which is not hashkafa. He wants to tell you: I'm about to write something unique, write hashkafa which is about the Divine Plan of the briyah. What is hashkafa, really? It's about what’s called the “architectural design of Creation.” RaMChaL is saying: I'm now going to introduce this topic in a unique way, within a framework offering you a way to see information in a structured, holistic way, not as a fragment but a framework.

A long time ago, I’d mentioned that somebody asked me why RaMchaL writes a hakdama on the topic of “thinking,” on organising information when he writes a sefer on hashkafa.

Besides what I've said so far, there's another very important reason.

The ohr—Light of the mashiach—what is it? What is the messianic Light? What does it do? Why is it so incredible? What does mashiach do? The ohr mashiach consists of two things, ultimately. It consists of: chomer—matter and tzura—form. Regarding chomer, matter, what is the informational content? Regarding the tzura, the form, what shape, what configuration is inherent in that information? Is it a fragment or is it a structure? Can we discern the relationship between the particular information and other related information?

What the mashiach does is very interesting. Yiddishkeit--Judaism has the chomer, has the toras ha’nigla--hidden Torah made visible, revealed. But, yiddishkeit also has the nistar—hidden, the Kabbalah. In other words, behind the Torah, behind the halacha—laws, so to speak, that which governs the halacha are kabbalistic ideas. What is a halacha, really, in its pnimius—internality? Anybody know?

Participant: a path

R’Kessin: A path?—okay, but to what destination? That's the question!

Participant: It’s taking something and making it kadosh—holy.

R’Kessin: That’s true. You really all know and you really all don't know.

Participant: Halacha is to m’taken-fix the briyah—Creation.

R’Kessin: Metaken of briyah—okayto rectify the Creation. Therefore, what would a mitzvah--commandment be? If a mitzvah is to metaken, to rectify the Creation, what then is it? It’s a tikkun--rectification device. That's what a “device” is. A device is a tool, an instrument, a vehicle that enables you to get something done.

Tikkun “Devices”

If a mitzvah is a device that brings about a tikkun of the briyah, it’s a tikkun device, so how does it work? A mitzvah, in its pnimiyut--internality is a device that allows a certain amount of ohr--Light into the briyah, more ohr, the ohr which rectifies the Creation. The mitzvah is a trigger, a sort of switch; it's a mitzvah with a switch that allows Light into the briyah and that penetration of Light changes reality. That's really what it's all about. The Jew is commanded to do what?—to do the tikkun.

Judaism is a belief system, that we are able to change the reality of this universe.

What is that reality? We live in a physical universe. Judaism is a “doctrine,” that believes that we can change the nature of existence by doing certain things, engaging in activities that utilize tikkun devices. One of the tikkun devices we know is mitzvah, a commandment, a religious duty. There are two more: teshuvah—repentance, and yissurim—suffering. The Jews have three tikkun devices, which means that all three can bring the tikkun to fruition.

What is tikkun? Tikkun is what's called—and what RaMChaL says later—is what’s called “ha’ohra”—enlightenment. More accurately, it’s the re-transformation of a physical universe into a spiritual one.

Participant: Isn’t that what the Greeks spoke about, the idea about bringing change to the world, changing the world to be spiritual?

R’Kessin: Greek knowledge doesn't really believe in spirituality, not really. They're into the physical universe. In many ways, that was their conflict with the Jews. They’d say: you, the Jews, have a whole bunch of principles addressing spiritual reality, but we don't believe in this stuff. We believe in philosophy, physics, astronomy, the world, the real world, which is really physical. The Greeks contended there is no ruchniut—spirituality in the world, which is what Chanukah is all about.

Participant: The Greeks feared that the Jews’ ruchniut would change the world. When they considered what yiddishkeit was, realized that it was so unique in their dealing with all other nations, from their point of view, they were up against an enemy because this enemy has the possibility of destroying who they were.

R’Kessin: And who were they?—a society that believed, essentially, in the physical universe.

Participant: of course.

R’Kessin: That's the fundamental difference. You’re extending what I'm saying. The battle between the Jews and the Greeks was about the nature of reality. The Greeks saw that as a threat. When you perceive something as a threat, you obviously want to eliminate it. It's fundamental. The conflict is really: what is the nature of reality? The Greek response was: we gotta kill the Jews because we don't want them to take away our belief system.

The objective is to re-transform a physical universe into a spiritual one, literally, not figuratively. That's what we, as Jews, do. We transform this Olam Ha’Zeh—this world into Olam Ha’Ba—Future World. That's ultimately what will happen.

What's going to happen when the world is re-transformed? It’s what's called “de-fragmentation.” Suddenly, we see an unbelievable achdut—unity. We experience absolute unification, harmony of reality. Reality becomes one idea.

Science as Light, A Model of Messianic Revelation

One of the interesting things about science, its chidush—novelty, is its proliferation. What's happening in science is beyond belief. Every day 7500 articles are published. It's enormous. We can't comprehend the extent of the expansion, proliferation of knowledge. That's why you walk into an electronic store one day, come back a year later, and half the store's contents are gone, upgraded, unfamiliar.

Why is that? How did science do it, really? The answer is: the tzura, not the chomer. Science deals with the physical universe. Science has learned that there's no such thing as a million different phenomena; there’s no such thing. It's all united, related. They engage in establishing ideas of reduction. They will reduce three, four, five events into one or they'll try to find a law that explains fifteen different phenomena. They establish commonality. That's the understanding that there is an achdut in the briya, a unity in the Creation on a physical level. It's called the “derech ha’yichud”—the path of singularity. They've uncovered the tzurah of information.

Their chomer—substance is olam ha’zeh—this (physical) world, but they've discovered the concept of “achdut” in reality. We have yet to discover that, really; we believe in it, but we don't see it. Because our learning is fragmented, we do a very poor job of synthesizing everything.

What the mashiach does, fundamentally, is ye’ached—unify the briyah, unify what was fragmented. He reveals the underlying framework behind the physical universe which is, of course, the spiritual universe. That's what Kabbalah is. It's a study of another reality, one interfacing with this reality, and then, behind that, is the Ribono shel Olam—Master of the Universe. This is what the mashiach reveals. The mashiach will enormously, almost infinitely, expand our understanding of reality.

But wait! That's just the chomer of information. What he’ll really do is reveal the tzura. He will unite the physical universe with the spiritual and then, together with their unity with the Ribono Shel Olam, we will gain the astounding perception of what reality truly is. It comes out that the “derech” of RaMChaL is really the derech ha’mashiach—path of the messiah, to put it that way. It's really messianic.

Participant: The 50th Gate is not any more information; it’s just…

R’Kessin: I did not say that. Remember, information has two dimensions, tzura and chomer.

Participant: We have, in Torah, Mishna, Gemara, kabbalah. That is chomer…

R’Kessin: Yes, we have that chomer, that's true, but that chomer is surface. There's an infinite amount of information besides that chomer. Okay, so it's true they have science which is a study of the physical universe, right? That's “olam ha’ze-chomer” so to speak. We have the material substance inherent to this physical existence. We have that on a superficial level.

I once quoted from the “Midrash Rabbah” at the end of “Kohelet.” It says that the entire Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu—that’s a lot of stuff—is hevel—vapor compared to the Torah of the mashiach. Let's understand what that means.

Participant: chutzpah—nerve, arrogance

R’Kessin: This would, otherwise, be the expression of apicores—heresy if it weren't a midrash. What I'm saying is that this is the entire Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu. What is the entire Torah?—Bavli, Yerushalmi, all the rishonim—early Torah scholars, hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, sefarim--books written and published over thousands of years—and this is “hevel”? What's “hevel”?—luft (German for) “air,” meaning it’s “nothing.” it doesn't even have a mamash--authentic idea. What we have now is hevel!

Participant: It's not more knowledge; it's understanding what we have on a much deeper level. It makes the current understanding comparable to hevel in the same way that a child's understanding contrasts with that of a knowledgeable adult. The child’s superficial understanding is hevel.

R’Kessin: ...and that deeper level is unknown to us.

Participant: True, it's more knowledge not more material. We're explaining everything on a deeper level.

R’Kessin: if a guy comes down with a cold, he comes down with a cold. He has certain symptoms and knowledge of what he’s experiencing is at a certain level, but then he talks to a doctor. The doctor’s perspective is: what do you mean, “a cold”? You're only looking at the symptom. Underlying that symptom is an entire mechanism operating within the human body that goes awry. What causes that? There are pathogens and that's a whole different level of understanding because it’s new information. It's the possibility created of an enormous amount of additional information. You can't believe how many books speak only to this pathology; forget about the other branches of medicine.

What the mashiach reveals, and why I want to bring out the significance of RaMCHaL’s hakdamma—introduction, is that we're talking about an author that is espousing “Derech Ha’Mashiach.” We want to learn that the mashiach will expose two things: chomer and tzura. He will reveal the chomer on a much deeper level; now, we have a superficial understanding of the chomer. He'll reveal the achdut--unity of all this information, how it all emanates from the Ribono Shel Olam—Master of the Universe. We have no inkling of how all that looks when it’s integrated.

There are 613 different mitzvos, basically. You can categorise some of them; you can't connect them conceptually, but the truth is that they are connected at a much deeper level. We have to “get down” there to see the connection. Right now, we don’t.

Participant: What's the relationship between these two areas and the mashiach teaching us the chomer and the tzura, because he's going to bring new chomer that will enable us to understand?

R’Kessin: He will expand, almost infinitely, the amount of chomer even though we have the Torah. He's going to reconfigure the whole thing with a mind-boggling tzurah.

Participant: With the new chomer he's able to reconfigure the tzura?

R’Kessin: That's what he's going to reconfigure.

Participant: He can add to the chomer but that does two separate things because of the chomer which allows you to discern a cause and effect…

R’Kessin: No, no. Wait; They're two different types of “being.” There's what's called a “substantial being” and an “accidental being.” We need to become philosophers, actually. Roundness in a ball, what type of a being is that? I look at a ball and it's round. What type of a being is that? Roundness doesn't exist by itself. Has anybody ever seen roundness? No. It's a type of being that needs to adhere to another being. That, in philosophy, is called an “accidental being.” I don’t mean to say that it's an accident; it's called an “accident.” It's called the “mikrae.” There's an etzem—essence and a mikrae—case, its case. The essence takes a form.

If you look at the RaMBaM and his sefarim—books, his writings, you look at philosophy, the notion that tsurah is an “accident” in chomer.

Participant: what way?

R’Kessin: Roundness is an accidental being, isn't it? Without chomer there's no such thing as “roundness.” Without a substance, you can't have the quality of roundness so it's called an “accidental being.” It is a state of being that is completely dependent on the existence of something else and, if you remove the etzem, roundness disappears. There’s the “substantial being” and the “essential being.”

To configure information as an achdut is, what?—to configure that which has “accidental being” with other information. If you took away the information, there goes the achdut, right? What the mashiach does is.... it's all about information. The incredible revolution is that the information is no longer presented as a fragment. Where do you see this? We just passed the Torah portion “v'zot ha’brachah.” Who's the one who does this?—mashiach, yes? Which one, Mashiach ben Yosef or ben David?

Participant: Mashiach ben David.

R’Kessin : ben Yosef; he's the guy, not ben David. What is the difference between ben Yosef and ben David? There are a lot of differences but one of the ideas of ben Yosef is that he is m’chasef paneach”—a revealer of hidden things. What does that mean? He's the one who expands the information and reconfigures it.

Where do you see this? Take a look at “v’zot ha’brachah”—and this is the blessing. If you really want to understand this, go back to, “V’yehi erev, v’yehi boker, yom echad”—and it was evening and it was morning, the day of one. Why does it say “echad''—one? Do you remember what Rashi says? It should read as “yom rishon”—first day.

There are two types of numbers: “ordinal numbers,” such as: “first,” “second”, “third,” “fourth” and so on, and “cardinal” numbers such as: one, two, three, four.

Rashi says that, for every day it says, “yom sheni”—second day, right? That's called an “ordinal number.” On the first day it says, “yom echad”—one day, a cardinal number. Why does the Torah switch from an ordinal number to a cardinal number?

Rashi answers that it’s because, on the first day, there was only the Ribono Shel Olam. The malachim—angels weren't created until the second day so that first day was truly the “day of One,” the day of One being, the Ribono shel Olam. Rashi says this.

If you think about it, it can really say something more. Another pshat—literal meaning is that yom echad really means this: of course, it was only the Ribono Shel Olam, but if anybody had been able to witness that first day, what would he have seen? He would have seen an infinite variety of the chomer of Creation because everything was created on the first day; it didn't pop out until the rest but it was there so what would he have seen? He would have seen almost an infinite variety of things that the Ribono Shel Olam created, but it doesn't make a difference. Even though there was an infinite variety of things, it was the day of echad-One because, at that time, there was no veil; you immediately saw how everything emanates from the Ribono Shel Olam so, conclusively, it's really One.

It's true there are many expressions that can be used for Him, but there's only one thing called “G-D,” so that's why it's called “yom echad”—day of the One. Even though there were an infinite number of things, looking at it without the “veil,” you saw one thing: G-D. Once you were aware of Him, you can understand how everything emanates from that concept of “One.” That's what “yom echad” means.

It says, “V’yehi erev v’yehi boker yom echad”—and it was evening and it was morning, One day and “v’ya’ar elohim et ha’ohr ki tov v’yavdel elohim bein ha’ohr u’bein ha’choshech”—and Elohim saw that the Light was good and He separated between the Light and the Dark. What is the meaning of this? The ability to see the source from which everything emanates is the absolute greatest structure of all. This is what’s called the “ohr mashiach”—messianic Light. It's also called the “ohr ha’ganuz”—hidden Light, also the ohr rishon—first Light.

What is the ohr rishon? It’s the ability to see all reality as a singular expression, an unbelievable unity. That's the ohr rishon, that “vaya’ar Elohim et ha’ohr ki tov,” that G-D saw and that it was good.

What is ohr—Light? We know that's the ohr ha’ganuz which is the ohr mashiach. When does ohr ha’ganuz come? This was the first pasuk—verse in the Torah, basically. You have to also look at the end of the Torah, in parshat “v’zot ha’brachah” when Moshe Rabbeinu is “benching,” blessing klal Yisrael. He gives a bracha—blessing to shevet Yosef—tribe of Yosef. What's his bracha?

His bracha, basically, is the “bechor shoro hadar lo”—the firstborn of the ox—meaning Yosef—beauty is his.

It goes on to say that his “horns” are like those of “karne re’em”—the horns of the re’em.Re’em” is a mythical animal for us that existed then and its horns are not those of a typical ox.

“B’hem amim yenagah”—with these (horns) he shall gore the nations. This clearly indicates it’s a metaphor and has an allegorical application. What is does it indicate? What's the gilui—revelation implied?

The metaphorical “ox” is Yosef. Who is the “bechor”—firstborn?—Mashiach ben Yosef.

That “beauty is his” means that Messiah ben Yosef is stunning in his beauty. How? The pasuk continues: “v’karnei re’em karnav,” indicating that the horns of the re’em are the “horns” of Mashiach ben Yosef.

The one who made the mistake, classically, interpreting it literally, was, of course, Michelangelo. We see the error depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, that Moses has horns. That's the inception of the depiction of Jews having horns. Keren means “beam of light,” but anyway…

What is the “beauty that is his”? The horns of this ox are not the horns of a typical ox, as I mentioned. Have you ever seen the horns of a bull? They’re incredibly massive but the horns of the bull are not long, but short and stout. Have you ever seen the horns of an antelope? They’re stunning; or the horns of some goat? The symmetry is magnificent. But the horns of a bull or an ox aren't a good comparison at all. The bull’s horns are short and stout but incredibly powerful because their power is fuelled by massive shoulders.

The pasuk--verse says that the horns of this “ox” aren't the horns of an actual ox. They are the horns of re’em which are magnificent. Ever see how the horns twist and turn, spiral?—just incredible. If you go to a zoo—say the Bronx Zoo—you might see the creature in the hall where all kinds of antelope heads are displayed. You couldn’t help but stare at the antelope. Its koach—power was apparent. The power of the Ribono Shel Olam is implied in the existence of this feature and yet all there is to suggest such power is a bunch of cells that exit at the skull of the animal and produce these horns?

So, the pasuk tells us that these horns of the re’em are magnificent, are those of “beauty.”

The horns of the Mashiach ben Yosef are magnificent but what is the figurative meaning?

What are the horns used for?—weapons. From where do they emanate?—the head. What the pasuk is saying is that the Messiah ben Yosef’s “weapons” emanate from his head. What emanates from the head beside the hair for those lucky enough to have hair?—information, wisdom, yedia—concept, chochma.

The figurative “weapon” of the Mashiach ben Yosef is a spectacular chochma that emanates from his head and which is his weapon. The horn is a metaphor that refers to what?—information, chochma, right? Because horns emanate from the head and are weapons, the information of the Mashiach ben Yosef is that which emanates from his head, Information that is incredibly magnificent to perceive. The knowledge of Mashiach ben Yosef is that of incredible beauty. And this “re’em,” with its information, with this chochma, “amim y’nagach,” he will gore the nations.

Beauty as Unity

That's how he's going to do it; he’ll present an understanding of reality that is breathtaking to behold. What is the overall understanding of that beauty? What is “beauty”? Who can tell me what beauty really is?

Participant: Clarity.

R’Kessin: Clarity is a consequence.

Participant: Harmony.

R’Kessin: It's not the same although you're pretty close; clarity is a consequence.

Participant: Structure.

R’Kessin: Structure…ever see what beauty is, real beauty?

if I had to give it a definition, beauty is the harmonious blending of many different fragments as one unit. Take a look, for instance, at beauty in music. if you think about a Beethoven symphony, it’s a bunch of notes, just a bunch of sound frequencies, but—wow—what an arrangement! It's the arrangement that elevates it to the level of superlative art. That's called “beauty.” Beethoven was able to take approximately ten thousand frequencies, notes, and combine them in such a way as to reconfigure them in a spell-binding tsurah that you can listen to and likely find new and surprising aspects each time you listen to it; it’s so pleasurable. It’s the reconfiguration, the blending of so many different resonances in a novel, artful way.

What about a painting? It's a unique configuration, a blending of shade, perspective, colour, texture, contrast. There are so many elements to a magnificent painting. That's beauty, like Rembrandt.

What's the beauty in chochma? There's beauty in visual art, music, textile fashion. Fashion design is the ability to put together a garment utilizing elements of fabric texture and color, shape in relation to silhouette. Coordinating all the elements well is beautiful but what is beauty of chochma?

Participant: There's beauty in people.

R’Kessin: There's beauty in people, a person having characteristics that blend in a way that seems perfect. The concept of beauty is always a blend of what are called “fragmented” or “disparate” parts in a novel and satisfying way. This secret of the beauty of chochma appears in the pasuk—verse,hodor lo”--beautiful to behold. His beautiful “horns” are the beauty of his chochma. What's beautiful about it?—its structure. Science has a word for it—"elegance.”

History of Elegance in Science

In fact, scientists hold that one of the greatest tests of truth is its elegance. That's how they're so convinced that all of what they call “nature,” or “reality” is elegant. The word “elegant” is synonymous with “beauty.” Einstein is one about whom that word “elegant” is used. He came up with a formula “E=mc2,” the most famous formula in existence that combined a definition of energy and mass demonstrating that they're really the same thing. Mass is really “frozen” energy, without getting into all that. Einstein’s formula has extraordinary elegance.

Another guy is James Clark Maxwell—I think he was Jewish, actually—who combined all frequencies of light showing how they're all, in their essence, the same. What appears to distinguish them in frequency, whether they be radio waves, x-rays, or light waves, disguises their essential sameness.

It's one of the greatest reductions ever known to science, Maxwell's four equations and their derivatives; that’s beauty in chochma. Mashiach comes along and says: you guys are holding a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. You guys refuse to look at the box so I'm gonna put it together for you. Mashiach shows that all of reality that we know, which is the physical universe, is really a beautiful tapestry with a universal spiritual component; that’s what Kabbalah is all about. We will understand how everything in reality emanates from the achdut—unity of the Ribono Shel Olam. We’ll be looking at the totality of information and be able to fathom its unity. That's the ohr mashiach and why the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu, fundamentally, is fragmented, appearing as five sefarim—books dealing with various ideas, stories. What the mashiach does—and that's what the ohr ha’ganuz—hidden Light is—is to weave all the content into an elegant tapestry that no longer appears fragmented.

The best mashal—example I can give you is that of embroidery. When you examine a fabric that’s embroidered, the image, the design, appears flawless yet the back side of it appears ragged with many threads protruding. Were you to bring just the back portion of the embroidery to its maker and say, “This is what you made? Come on!” he’d turn it around to show you the finished product. The ohr mashiach is the beautiful side of the embroidery, the side meant to be seen. We live in a kind of embroidered reality, right? We're looking at the raggedy back portion. Mashiach flips it over to show us the part that was always meant to be seen.

That's why RaMChaL has his hakdama--introduction; it’s messianic. The RaMCHaL, in a sense, was saying: I'm going to present hashkafa in that light, chochma in its pnimiyut—internality with a focus on essence. The RaMChaL’s introduction, which I hope everybody will take a look at, is the tzurah of Mashiach Ben Yosef.

Participant: Do you think that scientific advancements are our preparation for the Mashiach ben Yosef so we have the pieces to put together? All the scientific advancements exist now to be ready for us to put together, all the pieces? We’ll, at least, have the pieces.

R’Kessin: What you mention is a very important svirut—likelihood.

The Zohar says that the ohr mashiach begins to come down in the year 5000 which is the Gregorian year, 1240. That was a long time ago. Based on parashas “Vayeira,” the Zohar says that the ohr mashiach begins to come down then. “But wait!” you might exclaim. “What are you talking about—1240? The ohr mashiach came down?”—yes! What does the Zohar mean?

History and the “Cosmic Calendar”

First of all, why 1240?—because 1240, which is the Hebrew year 5000, is the beginning of Friday on the “Cosmic Calendar.” We know that the world will last 6000 years. Why six? There are six days of Creation. 5000 years means five days have passed, Sunday through Thursday. Thursday night at 6:00 p.m, (18:00) is the beginning of Friday. That's equivalent to the year 5000.

Since Friday is erev shabbos—precursor to the Sabbath, the Ribono Shel Olam begins to prepare the briya--Creation to understand, apprehend, the ohr mashiach; that's what happens. That's what the Zohar is referring to—fine. The Zohar is saying that the ohr mashiach, its chakika—enactment, begins in 1240. That’s approximately 800 years ago. Today is 5773 so it’s 773 years ago.

Where do you see the historical evidence of this? It's nice to have a Zohar say something very interesting about the messianic Light beginning to descend at around 1240 which is the beginning of Friday. Now that we know what this Light really is, we’re ahead of the game. Now that we have an inkling of what it is, the tsurah in chochma having been enormously expanded, almost infinitely, is this historically verifiable? The answer is: yes!

The Ribono Shel Olam brought down the ohr, the shefa—flow. To say it “came down” means that it influences the minds of men to begin to think a certain way. The interesting thing is that, once the shefa came down, it came down for Jews and for goyim because that's the shefa.

The Distinction

How did it come down for goyim? What's called the “ohr mashiach” is in the klipa—forces of impurity. “Flowing to the goyim, in the klipa” means that it takes the form of science. It sounds astounding to hear that science is nothing more than the messianic Light expressed as the reality of the physical universe and the study of that. When it is studied, there are two amazing expressions of it.

Its first expression the study of it to the depths of that subject area. If you're into biology, then you're into DNA, into micro-pathogens and so on. If you're into physics, you're into energy at its most basic level, into the atom, the quark, the “string” and so on. The ohr always reveals the pnimiyut, the internal essence from which it then extends toward everything else and offers an “overlay” of the tsurah, the form it takes within the singularity of its existence, its achdut.

Science began in 1240. Are you aware of that? Until then, science, the study of the physical world, was dominated by Aristotle, an “armchair” philosopher who would contemplate, would think, but never did experiments.

The famous case disproving Aristotle was that of Galileo. Aristotle posited that, if you have two objects, heavy and light, the heavier will fall faster. Then, along comes Galileo in the 16th century. He ascends to the top of Pisa, the famous leaning tower of Pisa—and by the way, I was in the leaning tower of Pisa and it really leans; it's scary to go up there and they no longer jump from the top because it's leaning too far—dropped two items, one light and the other heavy and, guess what! They came down at the same time. Poof!—no more Aristotle.

Aristotle held back science for almost two thousand years. Then, along came Roger Bacon who initiated the “Scientific Method,” who broke away from Aristotle and, ostensibly, said: what is this business of just thinking? We’ve got to experiment. Roger Bacon is credited with the beginning the Scientific Method. He lived right around 1240, that time when mamash—really the flow was foreseen to come down.

So, the ohr mashiach, the ability to see things reconfigured as an achdut of tsura, already begins in the goyish world. It's not so goyish in the sense that it's the true reality, but it's amazing that the goyim themselves could never have begun “science” unless the ohr mashiach came down. Even they need the ohr mashiach just like we do. What was the impetus for them? What spurred their machshava—thought process? it was the ohr mashiach, therefore science began and progressed by leaps and bounds.

But it wasn't only they who got it.

Who else? One of our guys got it. Who is the one who was meshane et tsura “Bavli”--changed the form of (Talmud) “Bavli” ?—the RaMBaM! What he did was astounding and that's one of the reasons why he was the victim of redifot—pursuits, because he was the first to change the form of the “Bavli.”

Until then, everybody learned “Bavli,” learned Gemara. Along comes the “Rif,” Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen (1013–1103) and he was nirdaf--object of pursuit, something most people don't know. They, meaning klal Yisrael, were pursuing him for much of the almost one-hundred years of his

life-time. Why? Their thinking was: how dare you cut out, abbreviate, the “Bavli”? He wrote a perush—interpretation that cut out a lot, edited it, and they went crazy. So, they were “rodef the Rif,” in pursuit of him, but at least The Rif remained with the basic content. He just abbreviated, edited it. The RaMBaM changed the tzura. He got rid of all the sugyas and gave the masechta—tractate of all SHAS. Superb!

When did the RaMBaM live and what did he do? He didn't change the chomer. It remains the maskana--conclusion of SHAS. What he changed was the tzura of “Bavli.”

You'll find a lot of the sugya in one place, avodah zara in one place, some sugyos in other places, mesechta Shabbat, all of which presents tremendous difficulty for us because everything is spread all over the place; that's the essence of fragmentation. Along comes the RaMBaM and organises it, from simple to more complex; he would change the tzura which was thought to be terrible and that's one of the reasons they were rodefim the RaMBaM. Do you think he was the last guy (they did this to)? He wasn't the last guy.

You know who else were objects of pursuit?

Participant: the rabbanim.

R’Kessin: Yes. We would never believe this today because, to us, they're icons. In those days it was considered apikoros—heresy. In fact, they burnt the RaMBaM’s work and they woke up when they realised that, in Paris, they were burning the “Bavli,” so they said: shamayim is modim kitrugim—a Divine decree based on a prosecutorial action is going on. How do you burn the RaMBaM? The onesh—punishment was the burning of the “Bavli.” They were pursuing the Rif and the RaMBaM and, do you know who else they pursued?

Participant: The RaMCHaL, they chased him out.

R’Kessin: Yeah, well you hear the old American saying, “He who laughs last laughs best.” All those who were rodfim the RaMChaL were those who were hardly known. The RaMChaL is known throughout the entire Jewish world so, in the end, he laughs: you guys were rodfim, pursuers, wanting to extinguish my name and my flame, but –guess what!—none of you guys were ever heard from again.

For instance, when's the last time you heard of Rav Katzennellinbogen, rabbi of Frankfurt?

Participant: Who was that?

R’Kessin: My point exactly! When was the last time you guys heard of Moshe Chagiz, rabbi of Amsterdam. He was one of the main characters who pursued the RaMCHaL. In keeping with the well-known expression, the RaMChaL laughs last.

Do you know who else was being rodef?—the “Beit Yosef” (book by Joseph Karo, author of “Shulchan Aruch”). They pursued the “Beit Yosef.” To us, the “Beit Yosef” is like Moshe Rabbeinu—the “Shulchan Aruch,” right? Why were they pursuing him? They were indignant as to: how dare you take out the psak—verdict of the “Bavli” and write it to a b’kitsur--abbreviation? What is this? We don't even understand this. Today, without the “Beit Yosef,” where would we be?—lost.

What I'm telling you now is that, in 1240, science had its beginning with Roger Bacon. They changed the tzura of chochma, our understanding of physical reality. The second progression is that Judaism had its renaissance with the RaMBaM. That, mamash—really is what the Zohar says. Once it began, it accelerated.

Participant: Zohar...

R’Kessin: That's another thing, that the Zohar was discovered. Even the Zohar itself was discovered at around 1290-1292 by Moshe de León, better known as the “Bal Shem Tov.” Not only was the tzura of yiddishkeit, of seferim, in a state of change, but the pnimiyut—internality (most esoteric level) of the Torah was discovered; that's the Zohar, the fundamental text of all Kabbalah. Look what happened in 1240, just around that time. The Zohar is the beginning of the ohr mashiach.

Once it comes down, what happens? It comes down by leaps and bounds; that's what you see. What's going on today? I don't know if you realise it but incredible phenomena are transpiring. Suddenly everybody woke up and you see efforts to re-edit the “Bavli”—you have ArtScroll.

ArtScroll created that revolution. You have mesechet—tractates so that, now, everything is in one volume and there's perushim--commentary on the “Beit Yosef,” such unbelievable developments today. You don't have to be a rosh yeshiva—head of a yeshiva to know anything. You have only to open up from a mesechta—you know what I'm saying—and everything is there. You could learn from, or make all the shiurim you want, just from that, right?

Why is it that, suddenly, Torah is becoming more and more accessible? It’s because the ohr mashiach, its shefa—flow, is making Torah more and more clear, easier to learn. There's a lot more to speak about but I'm just showing you all this based on the hakdama of the RaMChaL, what’s really going on.

All of this is part of that shefa, and the derech ha’mashiach—“way” of mashiach is what’s happening with the tzura and the chomer. A midrash says it beautifully, that the Torah of Moshe Rabbeinu, is hevel—vapor, vacuous, not even a mamash—something substantive compared to the Torah of mashiach, and mashiach is a person that will live in Olam Ha’Ze! We're not talking here about Olam Ha’Ba! I refer to the last tekufah--period of Olam Ha’Ze; that's when he lives. Imagine that he's going to produce a chochma that nobody could imagine, barely believe. In the Navi—book of the prophets it says: “ki maleah ha’aretz deyah et Hashem k’mayim l’yom mekasim“—that the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-D as the waters cover the seabed—unbelievable! We can't imagine, comprehend now, how much will be known. How distant, really, is the ohr mashiach anyway? Really, you know.

It's hard to envision that this world will progress from a world of fundamental ignorance to a world with such a saturation of knowledge overnight; it's hard to believe that. How can we know this? Whatever the Ribono Shel Olam does, He always allows you, always gives you an example first. How can we appreciate that the ohr mashiach is going to proliferate at an astounding rate overnight?

What’s the parallel I spoke about?—science, okay. In 1240 we had Roger Bacon, right? Then in 1500, around that time, came Francis Bacon who expanded on scientific information and then, around 1670, along comes the father of modern science—Newton. Newton revolutionized science, revolutionized physics. Why?—because 1740 is equivalent to 5500.

What's 5500? It's Friday morning 6 a.m., the beginning of the last day of Creation. Just prior to that the world changes, so along comes a guy like Newton along with many other discoveries that changed the world. This is part of the ohr mashiach in science.

Between 1240 and Newton, science progressed very slowly; maybe there was one discovery every hundred years—maybe. that's called “arithmetic growth;” it's like one-plus-one. From Newton until 1950, let's say 1900, science began to experience, not arithmetic growth, not one-plus-one, but a “geometric growth:” two-times-two. What has been discovered since 1890 and today is beyond belief. Our comprehension of the world of 1890 is scant and everybody then thought they knew everything.

Between 1890 and today (2012) the world is no longer progressing arithmetically, as one-plus-one. It's not even progressing geometrically, as two-times-two. Progress is now like “two-to-the-second-power” which is “exponential.” Every year, every day, 5,700 journal articles are published throughout the world. At that rate, the sum-total of human knowledge doubles every five-and-half years. Take a look at the Library of Congress; they have approximately 80 million documents in that building, eighty million! Can you imagine that!

They have twenty or thirty million volumes. You could take all that and put it into a closetful of hard drives, take all that, photograph it, and have one closet filled with three terabytes—whatever—put the entire contents of the Library of Congress on a series of's beyond belief... we cannot fathom what is going on today. Why?—because we see that there's an exponential progression of chochma expressed in science, and the world doesn’t understand what's going on. The rate of the acquisition of information is staggering.

Nine of every ten scientists who ever lived, live today. That shows you where science is at. The difference between a guy who lived in 1840 and a guy who lived in 1840 BC is minuscule. They had different clothing and all that; that's about it, but take a guy who I lived in 1840 CE, a century-and-a-half ago, put him in a time-machine, then you walk him down 5th Avenue in Manhattan; he'd die of a heart attack. Only a couple of years ago, people would talk to themselves in the street and you thought they were crazy. You’d think to do an act of chesed--kindness to locate a psychiatrist for them, right? Today they're all talking on their cell phones with earphones. Do they still appear crazy?

This is the ohr mashiach coming down with incredible rapidity. The tzura is marvelous.

Participant: Where is the ruchnius--spirituality?

R’Kessin: From 1990, even from ’99 until now, it's been beyond belief, right? Why 1990?—because 1990 is 5750 which is chatsohoraim—noon of “Friday.” This means the sun begins to set, never to rise again. It's the last six hours on the Cosmic Calendar!

Therefore, Friday, which is the erev shabbos—the eve of Sabbath, is when you really begin to prepare for Shabbos right? That's why we see the geometric, then exponential, explosion of information. What's fuelling all of this? It’s the ohr mashiach, that shefa of the ohr ha’ganuz. It’s the hachana—preparation. This is what the Ribono Shel Olam is doing. He's preparing the world so that when mashiach comes and introduces the concept of pnimiyut--internality and tzurah—structure, people won't drop dead in the streets! We don't realize that this is the hachana.

Participant: You predicted that 1990 would be a change.

R’Kessin: Yeah, I did. You know what happened in 1990, and it's not just the internet and all science. There was the fall of the Soviet Union, the Berlin wall. Look at all that happened. The political landscape of the world changed and that's also the beginning of the koach—power of the Eirev Rav which is a whole shiur itself. It's also the beginning of (power of) Ishmael. September 1990 was the beginning of the intifada. That's when the koach of Ishmael began to rise enormously. That too is its own shiur. I'm just trying to point out what’s happening in terms of the hachana of the ohr mashiach which is happening now.

The problem is that’s it's really happening by the goyim, by the non-Jewish world, less so by the yidden—Jews. So, the question is: wait a minute! Don't we get something too? Whatever happened to the Jews?

Participant: It's not true.

R’Kessin: Why is it not true? Who knows what the preparation is?

Participant: From the time WW2 ended, when everyone believed that orthodoxy was finished and it would never come back, baruch Ha’Shem—thank G-D, we are the largest group in the Jewish community.

R’Kessin: Yes.

Participant: ...and it grows and grows and grows extremely quickly.

R’Kessin: However, that's not what I'm talking about.

Participant: The amount of learning, the amount of yeshivas….

R’Kessin: The question is regarding the chochmah; the ohr mashiach is chochmah. I've pointed out that the hachana for that is what's happening in science. Even in yiddishkeit, there's a hachana although much less so; that's the problem.

Who is the classic individual who lived right at the turn of the century who, in many ways, represents the beginning of the tremendous depth of analysis?

Participant: Rav Chaim.

R’Kessin: Exactly, Rav Chaim. He is Judaism's answer to Einstein. Yeah… physics and Einstein. Rav Chaim in many ways changed the analytical approach of how to learn. Therefore, we also have the beginning of that approach, the concept of “analysis.”

I’ll end with this: There are five things that have gone into galut--exile and each one has to arise out of the galut, okay?

1: The shechina—Divine Presence

2. Torah, and you have to understand what that means.

3. Klal Yisrael—the community of the Jews, us

4. Eretz Yisrael—Land of Israel

5. That which is really part of the Torah, lashon kodesh—Hebrew language

The reason why they're all in galut is because there is an achdut—identicality among them. They are the same. Like it says, klal Israel, Torah, Eretz Israel are all “k’echad”—alike. If one goes into exile, all four go along and—guess what—all four are coming out of galut, each one. The last ones, the greatest ones, are slower to come out. Lashon ha’kodesh is emerging from galut. Where do you see that? Hebrew is a spoken language. It's the only language that was dead for two millennia that is now spoken. It's now a major language and there are courses in Hebrew, and so on.

Participant: Is Hebrew really lashon ha’kodesh?

R’Kessin: It's the beginning of that. Forget about the pronunciation and so on. There are seven million people speaking Hebrew.

Eretz Yisrael’s emergence is only partial, not total. Eretz Yisrael is out of galut. Yidden are now living there even though it's still emerging out of galut.

Klal Yisrael is emerging because all the nations that persecuted them have to give them up, can't hold them anymore. Jews can now leave Russia freely, right? They've come out of Iraq, out of the Middle East. Jews can, more or less, travel where they want, so the ability of Edom or Ishmael to hold the Jews is eroding rapidly. That's “coming out of galut.”

Torah is coming out of galut. How? Anybody know? How does Torah come out of galut?—slowly.

Participant: It's available in all languages.

R’Kessin: it's available in all languages, yes. That's number one.

Participant: You mentioned the ArtScroll, right?

R’Kessin: Yes, though I hate to give an advertisement to ArtScroll. Nothing can happen unless the Ribono Shel Olam is maskil—enlightening. For thousands of years the Torah has been in the klipa—grasp of impure forces, in galut. A manifestation of that has been the Gemara’s structure, written like a notebook, making it difficult to learn. Every third word is missing, so to speak, lacking a sense of total composition. It’s not a comprehensive compendium.

Gemara also lacks background information. We're not getting into all that now but, when these things begin to change, it will mean that the gzerah— decree that, currently, makes Torah so difficult, has been altered and its study will become easier. This is why, in the last twenty to thirty years, things are happening. There are more translations and it’s been chiefly ArtScroll that has revolutionized learning. In fact, if it weren't for ArtScroll, we wouldn't have Daf Yomi, really. Very few people learned Daf Yomi before ArtScroll but, today....Have you ever noticed that most people who learn Daf Yomi have an ArtScroll?

Why?—because you can learn a blatt--page per day and it's reasonable because it's all translated but it's not only that; it's in English. ArtScroll provides the background information and changed the format that resembled that of a notebook. It inserts not only the missing expressions but what the debate element is going to be. It will ask, propose a question as to a ba'ayah—issue. It helps you anticipate. This means that the klipa is being minimised. That can only be realized when the decree of the galut of Torah is slowly ending. So, ArtScroll mesechta is where, instead of appearing in a fragmented form, it’s all in one place; just open up the back.

What all this means, and what most people don't realize, is that the gzerah that Torah be in the galut, which means being in the klipa, which is synonymous with the galut, is, gradually, ending. Therefore, the Ribono Shel Olam is now allowing, giving haskama—agreement, giving siyata dishmaya—Divine assistance to those engaged in trying to clarify Gemara. This is the significance of the “Messifta” edition, different translations and so on.

It's not just what is published. What about the Schumann tape? Any guy can dial into Torah tapes or get cds of the whole Shas and it’s available in three languages: English, Yiddish and Hebrew, the entire Shas. When did that ever happen? It's unheard of! It is possible for a guy to sit down by himself and go through Shas without a rebbe. All he needs is a good shiur—lesson, lecture and there are many good ones around.

Why now? It’s because we are by that time of hatsohoraim and the decree is given when hatsahoraim happens, decreeing that the beginning of the end of the klipa has begun, that of the galut. That’s hatsohoraim: 1990=5750.

In every which way, sefarim are being published and so much is happening to enable ease of learning whether it be by phone, iPad, whatever. A guy can become a talmid chochom—scholar because the material is now available on the internet. What does all this mean, and why now? The answer is: hatsohorayim; that's why now.

Remember what it says in the famous pasuk--verse in Zecharia: “Vehaya le’eis erev yihyeh ohr ''—it will come to pass that in time of evening it will be light. When does “erev” begin? When does “be’tzohorayim”—afternoon begin? It begins at noon, doesn't it? That's what's happening. Around 1990 the ohr began to descend because the erev--evening is coming on, that time of akharei-hatsohorayim—after midday so, therefore, that changes the gzera, bringing even the Torah out of the klipa, out of galut.

The last thing to come out of the galut, of course, is the shechina—Divine Presence; that takes

awhile, but that too will happen and, once it does, the topic is “entry of mashiach.”

Participant: Why have so much evil? if the ohr is so big with nitsotsot kedusha—sparks of holiness on the internet...

R’Kessin: Know why? When evil is about to die, what does it do? It tries to drag you along with it. When a star is about to die in a supernova explosion, its death throes is its expansion and the awesome amount of energy emanating from it. One star like that will outshine its galaxy. The galaxy might be comprised of 100 billion stars and this one star will outshine it, and then die.

Before evil dies what does it do? It will “grab” all its kochot—powers, consolidate all its kitrugim—prosecutorial judgements against goodness, which is really what comprises its energy, gather all its kabbalah, its nitsotsot kedusha—sparks of holiness, consolidate whatever kedusha it has left, consolidate its assets, consolidate it all in a massive attempt to drag us down—massive. The great nisui-trial for today's generation appears to be that of its taiva—goodness which it is, but it's much more a trial of emuna—faith. In the End of Time, the real nisui that klal Yisrael faces is having, maintaining, emuna, real emuna. We look around and everything appears to be a contradiction, everything.

Why is it that evil people succeed all the time, the UN… Why is it that, evil, gaiva--arrogance seem to be at the top of everything? What's happening here? These are the final death throes of the Satan. Today, we are at a moetzet- accelerated rate to end Olam Ha’ze—this world. Why do you think the Holocaust occurred?

There are many reasons for the Holocaust, one of them to accelerate the coming of the mashiach. It requires “payback.” The Ribono Shel Olam, in one generation, put all the neshamas—souls needed to “balance the books,” to get rid of all the kitrugim-prosecutorial accusations against them, rid of all the choivot—debts, obligations, and so on. G-D took all souls of all the yidden who have ever lived and “married” them, in a certain sense, to the neshamas of the people alive at that time so that, in one shot, in five or six years, the amount of yisurim—suffering that the yidden experienced was probably equal to a thousand years. That's one of the important concepts of the Holocaust. There are others, but this is one of them. The Holocaust was one of the greatest acceleration events known and it tells you that the Ribono shel Olam wants to end it now. The Holocaust provided enough yissurim to provide atonement. It normally would have taken klal Yisrael a thousand years; He did it in six. Why?—to balance the books; that's what He did. That's why it was so horrifying because it had to accelerate and magnify the yissurim in such a fiendish way, a thousand year’s-worth in one shot.

This allowed klal Yisrael the enormous advantage of walking away. It’s like the pasuk—verse that says, “venikla achicho b’einecha”—and your brother will be exonerated in your eyes after he’s gotten 39 makot—lashes and then it’s okay; that's one of the important ideas of the Holocaust. It was part of an acceleration process.

There are other things that the Holocaust did, produced incredible choshech--Darkness, a terrific challenge to emuna. The Holocaust had a number of existential objectives which it accomplished but the bottom line is: let's get rid of this Olam ha’Zeh now. G-D could say: I want to bring mashiach now, not three hundred years from now. ”Now” means thirty, forty, years so that's why there was a Holocaust. Due to that, Torah is coming out of the klipa, we have Eretz Yisrael, both coming right after the Holocaust. What allowed this to happen is all the kitrugim against klal Yisrael being addressed, being “answered,” and so were cancelled. That's what the Holocaust was. The Ribono Shel Olam doesn't do this to Klal Yisrael for nothing. There's a profound reason why this happened.

Hineh ga’alti le’atchel achdut ke’reshit”—behold, I will redeem you, the second geula to be like the first. Why? We say that in “Kedusha.” It tells you that the geula asida—future redemption will be just like the geula rishona—first redemption with Moshe Rabbeinu in mitzrayim—Egypt.

In fact, if you correctly study the concept of “mitzrayim,” you can figure out many things about the mashiach, who he is, what he is, how he comes and so on. One of the phenomena you see and which is very interesting is that the year when Moshe Rabbeinu came, the situation got much worse; why? It was because the Ribono Shel Olam accelerated the process. Klal YIsrael did not deserve to go out. Their lack of merit was due to madhim kitrugim—amazing accusations prompting the Satan to claim: you guys don't deserve to be liberated so G-D subjected the Jews to severe suffering which is why, during the final year that Moshe Rabbeinu came to them, not only did they have to make bricks, they had to gather the straw to do so. It was shreklach, terrible.

The yissurim of the last year of the yidden probably equalled that of the previous hundred but it had to happen. In fact, Moshe Rabbeinu did not understand that—though we do—because he came running back to the Ribono shel Olam asking, “lama hareosah la’am ha’zeh”—why did You do evil to this nation?

Wow! I'm sure the Ribono Shel Olam was taken aback, so to speak. You can't do that, attribute evil to G-D! G-D said, “ata tir’eh”—now you will see but Moshe wouldn't see what would happen in Eretz Yisrael because his entry was barred. Later, in the Torah portion which includes “az yashir Moshe”—then Moshe sang, that was a kapara--atonement for the ohz--power that Moshe failed to attribute to G-D, that he “denied” G-D, by his utterance ascribing evil to G-D, the hashgacha--intervention of the Ribono Shel Olam that he, initially, misunderstood.

The reason why they're standing at Har Sinai is because of the yissurim of that final year. Since it says that the second geula would be as the first, what does that tell you? The same things will happen now.

There will be an ultimate acceleration process; that's what it tells you. What would constitute the acceleration process that is the equivalent of the last year of mitzrayim?—Holocaust! You just have to interpret it correctly.

Participant: Here we are, sixty years later. What happened in Egypt happened during one year, the last year with Moshe Rabbeinu. Your analogy is that you're referring to…

R’Kessin: Yeah, there are discrepancies of time, but i have to say that there's a difference between Moshe Rabbeinu’s time and now, more things that have to (be accounted for). The problem is how Jews do the tikkun and, because the Jews do the tikkun through chayavim-debts, because of b’itah—timeliness, the tikkun is achieved by means of yissurim and that takes longer.

The main idea is that we are involved in the last phase which is the acceleration process. As a result of that, the ohr mashiach is coming down with incredible rapidity. Chazot—midnight accounts for what's going on today, Torah coming out of the klipa gradually. Torah’s ultimate emancipation is what we're waiting for.

We now have an understanding of what RaMChaL achieves with that hakdama, why did it, why it's so important that he started with that in his writing on hashkafa—outlook, philosophy. He's really telling you that the upshot of the whole sefer, ultimately, is to argue for learning Torah in a structured way.


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